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The Australian Government’s National Emergency Management Stockpile (NEMS) has reached a new milestone, speeding up access to crucial disaster goods and services in times of emergency.

A standing offer panel has now been established to make it easier for authorities to access critical resources like temporary flood mitigation equipment, modular emergency shelter camps and high-output electricity generators when needed.

The NEMS Panel will facilitate the procurement, management and deployment of these products, providing a streamlined mechanism for Commonwealth, state and territory emergency services agencies to get access to goods and services to help disaster-impacted communities across the country.

The NEMS Panel is the first of its type in Australia, bringing Australian suppliers of various goods and services together to a single point of access, and is now operational several months ahead of schedule.

The Australian Government invested $8.6 million in the last Budget to create the National Emergency Management Stockpile, to grow national disaster capability.

Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said the Panel’s role was critical in enabling the Government to rapidly access and deploy disaster response and relief resources across Australia when it’s needed most.

“The establishment of this panel is the Australian Government’s next step in ensuring the Commonwealth has a range of capabilities at the ready to prepare for and respond to natural disasters,” Minister Watt said.

“Under previous federal governments there was often a scramble to try to pull together assets like temporary accommodation or sandbags when a disaster was imminent.

“By having this stockpile ready to roll out, and for State and Territory Governments to know what’s available and where, we can all help communities by responding faster and more effectively.

“It will ensure emergency response agencies can gain access to pre-evaluated and pre-negotiated goods and services through a single procurement mechanism, streamlining deployment.

“The establishment of this Panel is an investment in a more disaster-resilient Australia, and will help us save lives.

“Australia needs to be prepared to deal with increasingly severe and intense weather events resulting from climate change. This Panel is a capability that allows us to save that most critical disaster resource - time.”

Coordinator-General of NEMA, Brendan Moon AM, said the Panel has been designed so all states and territories will be able to procure from Panel suppliers.

“Over time, States and Territories - if they choose to access the Panel - can expect to see benefits such as competitive pricing and potential cooperative procurements at the national level,” Mr Moon said.

“This initiative is also an investment in Australian businesses, by giving them the opportunity to be part of a Commonwealth standing offer arrangement.

“This will strengthen Australia’s ability to respond to national disasters and increase opportunities for businesses.”

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) will oversee and manage the Panel, which is now live on AusTender. NEMA are seeking additional tender responses to increase the number of suppliers in coming months.

The Stockpile is already benefiting disaster-impacted communities, with temporary accommodation assets hitting the ground post-TC Jasper in Far North Queensland in January.

More information on the NEMS and the Australian Government’s support to Disaster Relief Australia is available on the National Emergency Management Agency’s website.

For footage and imagery of the temporary accommodation units which form part of the Stockpile, please see NEMA Humanihut.

This release was originally published on the Ministers for the Department of Home Affairs' website.